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Instructional Design Online Pedagogy

Week 14: Creating Class Elements Part 2: Audio and video

Catching up …

A week exploring interesting web applications I already knew and had used. Always good to refresh your memory!. The highlight was updating a presentation on Slideshare with a “robotic” voice produced with a free text to speech web software. It was a new learning. Ejeyot was a discovery, simple to use, but in which I repeated several times until I was satisfied with the result.

Web2 learning2 v2 from Jaime Oyarzo Espinosa
Categories
Instructional Design Lifelong Learning Online Pedagogy

Week 13: Creating Class Elements Part 1: Images and screenshots

The Ko & Rossen, Chapter 9: Creating Courseware and Using Web 2.0 Tools provide good tips about designing web pages for instruction.

A detail: on page 251, the author is unclear to distinguish the use of sans-serif vs serif fonts.

The use of sans-serif for titles and headers, serif for the body of the text is probably best if you are creating something to be printed on paper.

But, if you’re creating something to primarily be viewed on the computer screen, you are probably better off sticking with a sans-serif font for everything.

I personally use SnagIt frequently to capture images to illustrate learning material and manuals. Although it is a commercial application, is inexpensive and very flexible.

When I need images or photos, I often browse on Flickr because many Flickr users have chosen to offer their work under a Creative Commons license. It’s possible to search content under different type of license.

The use of Mbedr open an interesting opportunity to include annotated images inside didactic material (I’ve learned to annotate one of my own pictures in Flickr!).

Thanks for these tips!

Categories
Online Pedagogy

Mid-year post

I really enjoy learning and discovering new things with Pedagogy First course.

Although 4-5 hours a week seems reasonable, I needed to spend a few more hours… I didn’t realize how much more time I’d expend in my researches. Often, when you are working searching about a specific topic, you find new approaches or new perspectives of great attraction and must keep a huge discipline not to deviate from the assigned task.

I took the POT certification class mid-year class survey and the Mid-year Self-Assessment Check. My results tell me to work harder, especially in relation to the comments on other participants’ blogs.

Week 1: My presentation and getting started with Pedagogy First!-course

I started, by presenting myself and telling that I enjoy learning new things, particularly related with the innovation in the teaching and learning process. I created the Diigo account and start my learning process by experimenting. I created a new blog by moving my old blog from the WordPress.com over to my own hosted server. I got 5 comments

Week 2: Teaching and Learning Online

The recommended reading blogs allowed me to discover interesting input on the advantages of using social networking in education. I opened the book: Ko and Rossen, Teaching Online by reading the first chapter. I got 11-12 points in the Beginner’s Questionnaire.

I Completed also the Getting Started Chart. The most important part of the chart is related to the way I like to teach: I prefer a combination of lectures with discussion and group work. I got 2 comments: really motivating!

Week 3: Pedagogy and Course Design

A really good chapter of Ko and Rossen, Teaching Online Guide. The third chapter offer good proposals and practical tips related with the design and development of a course. The book point to 3 elements in the conversion or creation of an online course: Analysis, Course Goals and Learning Objectives and Design. I got 5 comments. All of these comment received my replay.

Week 4: Pedagogy and Course Design II

Continuing with the reading of Ko and Rossen, Chapter 3: Course Design and Development, pp. 63-end, I found really attractive the Table 3.2 as a useful template. I got 3 comments

Week 5: The Slippery Online Syllabus

Starting with the recommendations of this chapter, I highlighted the 3 aspects of an online syllabus to emphasize, from Teaching Online, Ko and Rossen.

  1. the contract: between students and the instructor (participation and grading criteria, student expectations,
  2. the map: course URL, used tools, assignments, document format, contact information, sequence of learning activities.
  3. the schedule: week organization (start, due day)

I got 5 comments. All of these comment received my replay.

Week 6: Internet Skills, html code and embedded Videos

I reflected that it is always useful to know basic html commands, especially to identify how a website is coded, but in practice, an instructional designer has limited use of writing html code due to the existence of rapid e-learning tools that require no html knowledge. I got 1 comment

Week 7: “to be or not to be”

It was a week of reflexions about the LMS role. I thought that although LMS and CMS provide a centralized course management it goes the opposite way of the web 2.0 tools. In some way, the LMS is the online replica of the teacher role in the F2F environment.

Week 8: LMS – “to be or not to be” (the continuous discussion …)

I wrote about my experiences in online and blended courses. The LMS did not cover my expectations or those of my students. The effort to manage and master the functions of the LMS did not translate into clear benefits.

This is one of the main reasons I participate in initiatives such as Pedagogy First!

Week 9: trying to catching up…

As the book states, “collaboration doesn’t just happen“. It’s very important to deliver a clear and detailed description of the activity and the final product, (the what), the connection of the activity and the course subject (the why), the individuals and group responsibility (the who), and the proceeding (the how).

Week 10: open platforms for online courses

I found some very good recommendations related to weekly blogs responses:

  1. What did you learn this week?
  2. How do you connect what you learned with your experienced or with what you already know?
  3. How could you apply your new knowledge?

Engrade was a positive surprise for me.

Week 11: Intellectual Property and Accessibility

The main disadvantage of the reading of this week (Chapter 8: Copyright, Intellectual Property) is that applies to the United States only. This American perspective needs to be complemented with others perspectives like the European.

In relation with the accessibility issues, I found a really good introduction to Accessibility by The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).

Week 12: Resources Online

In this post I describe the websites that I visit regularly to find OER (Open Educational Resources and courseware.

The review the previously publishes posts helped me to recognize my own progress during these weeks and the conclusion is positive…

See you back in February!

Categories
OER Online Pedagogy

Week 12: Resources Online

I use to access Open Educational Resources to:

  • recommend content to teachers who are building online courses or are adapting their face-to-face courses to a blended methodology.
  • to explore Open Educational Resources both in Spanish as in English.

Some of the OER sites I visit to explore didactic materials:

I read the chapter 8: Open Educational Resources.

Categories
Instructional Design Online Pedagogy

Week 11: Intellectual Property and Accessibility

Copyright, Course Materials and YOU!

The main disadvantage of the reading of this week (Chapter 8: Copyright, Intellectual Property) is that applies to the United States only.

This American perspective needs to be complemented with others perspectives like the European. JISC (Joint Information Systems Committee), who drive innovation in UK education and research presents a good analysis about Sharing and protecting your intellectual property in an online environment for educational institutions.

In relation with the accessibility issues, I found a really good introduction to Accessibility by The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) describing policies, resources and tools to make the Web accessible.

Categories
Web 2.0 Tools

Week 10: open platforms for online courses

I found some very good recommendations related to weekly blogs responses, which should answer at least 3 questions:

  • What did you learn this week?
  • How do you connect what you learned with your experienced or with what you already know?
  • How could you apply your new knowledge?

One particularly interesting in this chapter is related to the evaluation of online activities using rubrics. One good tip from Jim Julius in Facebook: BlogsProfHacker article “A Rubric for Evaluating Student Blogs” by Mark Sample-

Engrade was a positive surprise for me. Engrade creates own grading scale, post student grades, send private messages to students and parents, show tasks, events, reminders, and lessons online, create online tests, organize debates, build wikis, create flash cards, all for free. I have experimented with social media to build a flexible learning environment without the need for an LMS. But LMS still maintain an advantage: tasks delivery and distribution of grades. I think Engrade can fill that gap.

Related with the creation of web sites, I had experimented with Google sites and I agree with that can be a good tool to build the start site of a course, but is also a valuable aid for each student to build their own site.

Categories
Online Pedagogy

W9: trying to catching up…

Back to class and trying to catching up with my assignments. Ko and Rossen, Chapter 7: Student Activities in the Online Environment, aims to group activities, activities that have a greater difficulty to drive, considering the isolated nature of online students.

As the book states, “collaboration doesn’t just happen“. It’s very important to deliver a clear and detailed description of the activity and the final product, (the what), the connection of the activity and the course subject (the why), the individuals and group responsibility (the who), and the proceeding (the how).

Some of the relevant recommendations, I consider valuable for my courses are:

  • A group of 4 to 5 is probably the optimum size.
  • Maintain the group composition for the duration of the course.
  • Assign and rotate roles within the group. The frequency should be between 2-3 weeks.

Another important aspect is the assessment of pro-activity. I liked the proposed rubrics for peer evaluation of group work.

I’m using the online activity about summarizing course readings, asking to provide their conclusions writing half sheet of paper. There are three reasons to limit the extension of these findings:

  • to reduce the web copy and paste
  • encourage summarizing
  • lighten the teacher’s work

I Bookmarked and highlighted, using Diigo, Terry Anderson and Jon Dron’s Three Generations of Distance Education Pedagogy (2011). An interesting reflexion about the reciprocal influence between the pedagogy, the technologies and the context.

Categories
Online Pedagogy Web 2.0 Tools

W8: LMS – “to be or not to be” (the continuous discussion …)

So far, my perception that the LMS were showing their limitations as innovative Web tool, was intuitive. In my experiences in online and blended courses, the LMS did not cover my expectations or those of my students. The effort to manage and master the functions of the LMS did not translate into clear benefits. I summarize some of the factors that have led me this dissatisfaction:

  • The LMS assumed in the online environment the classroom teacher’s witness.
  • Although some platforms are more flexible than others (Moodle, for example), all reinforced the unidirectional teacher-student relationship. The student interaction is limited to participate in forums, answering questionnaires and fulfil the delivery of tasks on time. The responsibilities did not differ radically from those in a traditional class time.
  • Participation in a space of reflection (mainly forums), is formal and becomes one more task to fulfil.
  • The effort to master the functions of the platforms is aimed at managing and providing technical support to students. This effort leaves no room for educational innovations. So the LMS plays the traditional face-to-face class in an online environment. What is the advantage then?

But there is an unresolved problem in which the LMS have an important advantage: they provide a secure environment for the protection of personal data and the management of task and assessments.

This is an open problem to overcome for alternatives to the LMS. I have not found a secure and stable way to connect social networking and communications tools, task management and collaboration while protecting the privacy of personal information.

This is one of the main reasons he did participate in initiatives such as Pedagogy First!

As part of this reflection, I received important contributions from reading the documents proposed for further research:

  • Jonathan Mott, Envisioning the post-LMS Era: The Open Learning Network (2010) y
  • Lisa M. Lane, “Insidious Pedagogy: How Course Management Systems Impact Pedagogy,” First Monday, vol. 14, no. 10 (October 5, 2009)

These documents have provided the theoretical framework needed. I summarize the most important topics mentioned in these documents:

  • Instructors use LMS as an administrative tool and for content distribution, storage facilities for lecture notes and PowerPoint presentations.
  • The use of interactive learning tools, quiz and gradebook tools within LMS are reduced.
  • The LMS is not a tool anchored in pedagogy or cognitive science models.
  • While the LMS has become central to the business of colleges and universities, it has also become a symbol of the higher learning status quo.
  • The LMS serves as an affirming technology of traditional teaching. The instructor doesn’t challenge the LMS very much, and, in turn, the LMS doesn’t challenge the instructor. The student gets the convenience benefit from electronic distribution of documents (and grades) but little more.
  • The LMS has also become a symbol of the status quo that supports administrative functions more effectively than teaching and learning activities.
  • Personal learning environments offer an alternative, but with their own limitations.
  • An open learning network helps bridge the gap between the PLE and the LMS, combining the best elements of each approach (but we need a practical model with existing Web 2.0 tools).
  • How to bring together — or mash up — the best of both the LMS and the PLE paradigms to create a learning platform more ideally suited to teaching and learning in higher education — an “open learning network” (OLN) that is:
  1. Secure and open
  2. Integrated and modular
  3. Private and public
  4. Reliable and flexible

The discussion is open

Categories
Web 2.0 Tools

Week 7: LMS – “to be or not to be”

Reading the chapter 6 of Ko&Rossen I found some mix of tips and point of view to highlight:

  • The fast technical development of new tools opens opportunities to educational institutions to adapt to different teaching strategies
  • The proliferation of tools makes it possible to find the tool that fit with a specific pedagogical need.
  • It is necessary to synchronize the Web tools with learning activities (assignments, discussions, group work).
  • Don’t rely on just one form of graded assignment.
  • The web site: www.edutools.info/course, a really good resource.

I have a shade of difference with the author in relation to the role of LMS (Learning management systems) and CMS (Content management systems) as the central node in the construction of an Online Classroom. Although LMS and CMS provide a centralized course management it goes the opposite way of the web 2.0 tools. In some way, the LMS is the online replica of the teacher role in the F2F environment.

LMSs have a dominant impact in the online teaching and learning in higher education for the last years. A Delta Initiative report shows that more than 90 per cent of colleges and universities have a standardized, institutional LMS implementation (‘)

We must pause a moment and think if we are not in the post-LMS era.

(*) Delta Initiative, “The State of Learning Management in Higher Education Systems,” report for the California State University System, 2009, see p. 5.

Categories
Instructional Design Online Pedagogy Web 2.0 Tools

Week 6: Internet Skills, html code and embedded Videos

By taking the internet skill test, I found that I had most of the right answers but I couldn’t remember the URL to find an old version of a current website…

It is always useful to know basic html commands, especially to identify how a website is coded, but in practice, an instructional designer has limited use of writing html code due to the existence of rapid e-learning tools that require no html knowledge.

HTML or not?

This title is written using the html code: “<h4>HTML or not?</h4>”

To embed a video

The description about how to embed a video to a WordPress.com blog was really good and useful!

I have included a video of Sir Ken Robinson, one of my favourite authors. He brings always bright and critic educational perspectives. But this time I did not include a video of one of his lectures, but an animation about changing education paradigms. In this video I included the code